Today’s anti-Uber strike could have been just an ordinary demonstration in France, a country famous for the enthusiasm of its protests — but it became even bigger news thanks to Courtney Love’s tweets.
Paris doesn’t actually have “no-go zones,” but Love, who got caught in the middle of escalating violence between Uber drivers and taxi drivers, tweeted that she would have felt safer in Baghdad.
The singer boarded a taxicab leaving Charles de Gaulle Airport and tweeted that the vehicle was ambushed by picketers and the driver was taken hostage. She then tweeted that she “paid some guys on motorcycles to sneak us out, got chased by a mob of taxi drivers who threw rocks, passed two police and they did nothing.”
Love blamed French President Francois Hollande for failing to enforce safety measures amid the strike.
“I’m scared out of my wits. Mr. François Hollande president or libertine? I can’t believe this really just happened. love French people but your government blows,” wrote Love.
The strike against Uber isn’t just mobilizing taxi drivers but also a wide range of French citizens. In a debate similar to the one faced by Netflix when it launched in France, local reports have emphasized the fact that Uber is an American service that doesn’t pay taxes in France and is hurting the livelihood of French businesses.
Taxis have also been protesting against UberPop, a low-cost Uber service allowing non-professional drivers to take clients.
Although UberPop was banned in France in January, Uber has not removed the service from its app. Uber was also deemed sexist after the European branch of the company planned to launch an app in partnership with the website Avion de Chasse to have aspiring models drive cars in Lyon. The promotion was later cancelled by Uber Europe, which issued a public apology to “the people who might have been offended.”